A Few Observations On The M's Getting Throttled

Paid just enough attention to notice a handful of things:

  • The Rangers are powerful, and extra powerful on straight fastballs left in the middle of the zone.

  • In both my Kanekoa Texeira posts so far (I've only written two? About a candidate for low-leverage innings in the bullpen? For shame), I've referred to him as a near-sidearmer. It seems I've been lied to.

    Texeira_medium
    It's a lower arm angle than average, but I'd call that more three-quarters than anything. Earlier today, we found out Texeira throws a cutter, and now we have a better idea how. He does manage to get on top of the ball a little bit. Is there anybody out there that doesn't want this guy to make the team? The more we find out about him, the better he sounds. 

  • Another rough outing for David Aardsma, an outing where he wasn't pitching up to his established velocity. We don't have to worry about his arm being hurt. His arm is fine. But remember how Felix dropped his arm angle after that one injury to protect himself? Aardsma's probably still wary of really pushing his groin. It's hard to pitch at 100% when you're still being cautious with your lower body.

  • Lots of talk about Griffey's prank on Roger Hansen this morning, and little talk about his six LOB o'fer. This front office's greatest challenge will be making us forget that Griffey's still a player too.

  • I like the new team commercials, and I think they're probably some of the best in the league, but if you're already playing them 17 times a game, is it really necessary to feature them during the broadcast, too? I listen to a lot of comedians, but I'm not going to follow them on tour. I'm going to be sick of these things in a week, and that isn't right, because the bullpen monster is awesome.

  • Another one of those appearances for Ian Snell where he alternated between looking really good and looking lost. Threw a collection of notable changeups and slurves, but when this guy misses over the plate, he gets clobbered. For the record, I want to be encouraged by that change. I really do. But the movement - that's the easy part. If you know the grip and the arm motion, it's really easy to make a changeup move in the proper way. It's the location that's the really tricky part to figure out, and it doesn't matter if Snell puts a few in the right place if the bulk of them miss. We're looking for consistency, and he doesn't really have it.

    Overall, it was a positive start, and the 8/2 spring training K/BB looks nice. But I can't wait until May so I can look at some meaningful numbers and see if Snell is actually going to go anywhere.

  • Milton Bradley's ejection is one of those things you know some people are going to hold against him, but that was a pretty weak call by Dan Bellino, whoever the hell that is. Here's the .gif, if you haven't already seen video. With one on and one out, Bradley took strike three, dropped his bat, undid his gloves, bent down, picked up his bat, and walked away. He didn't say a single word, and he didn't so much as cast Bellino a menacing glare. Somehow that was enough. Bellino took it as a sign of disrespect, but Bradley acted as if he thought there were three outs (not the first time!), which is nothing but a simple and embarrassing mistake. And even if Bradley knew full well what the situation was, that still wouldn't warrant an ejection, because it's not like he drew a line in the dirt. He didn't do anything that openly questioned the umpire's authority. He just dropped his bat and picked it up within a couple seconds.

    Milton Bradley's no saint, but umpires these days are out of control. Thin-skinned and belligerent is no way to win friends. Kudos to Milton for staying calm at a time when he would've been justified in getting angry.

    Fortunately, hey, spring training. This doesn't matter.
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